‘Stop all illegal logging’

Source: The Star

picture of deforestation

Scarred landscape: An aerial view showing part of Bukit Enggang cleared due to logging activities in Sik, Kedah. — ZAINUDIN AHAD/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) is urging the relevant authorities to put a stop to all illegal and unsustainable logging in forest reserves to preserve the vital water catchment areas and their rich biodiversity.

Its president Henry Goh said it was irregular for a large swathe of forest reserve of more than 500ha in Bukit Enggang, Sik, Kedah, to be logged without an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).

“The villagers living in the foothills of Bukit Enggang have to ‘dam up the river’ to collect water for their daily use.

“This river is heavily polluted by the logging in the forest located upstream which has rendered the water unusable,” he said in a press statement on Tuesday.

Goh said other logging concessions closer to villages were given out for logging in Bukit Enggang without any consideration of the impact on people living in the vicinity.

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Kelantan Orang Asli stage protest march in KL

Source: FMT News

By Faiz Zainudin

orngasliprotes

Orang Asli protestors in KL on 15 February, 2017 – Pic from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 50 Orang Asli from Gua Musang, Kelantan, today gathered outside the Forestry Department here to protest the tearing down of anti-logging blockades in the Balah forest reserve.

Lawyer and human rights activist Siti Kasim, along with representatives of 20 NGOs, including Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa and Suara Rakyat Malaysia, took part.

They marched about 1km from Wisma Tani to the department’s headquarters on Jalan Sultan Salahuddin here.

The group was denied entry into the Forestry Department building by security guards.

That did not stop the protesters from speaking out against alleged mistreatment of the Orang Asli in Kelantan.

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PAS leaders only good for felling trees, says Perkasa

Source: FMT News

Ibrahim Ali - Pic from FMT News

Ibrahim Ali – Pic from FMT News

By Aedi Asri

KUALA LUMPUR: Though Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali is supportive of PAS’ efforts to empower the shariah courts, he is critical of the way the PAS-led Kelantan government has handled the issue of logging in Gua Musang.

“Good that PAS has Islam in its name but it has stupid leaders who only know how to chop down trees.

“I’m not pointing at any PAS leader in particular, but I’m disappointed,” he said in a press conference at the Perkasa headquarters here yesterday.

Ibrahim was referring to the Kelantan government’s logging activities in Gua Musang which had led to a standoff with the Orang Asli, who claimed their way of life and their livelihoods were increasingly threatened by deforestation.

Since September last year, the Orang Asli have built illegal barricades around the Balah permanent forest reserve to prevent transportation of timber. Read more

Ruckus again at Gua Musang Authorities break Temiar blockades, held journalists released

Source: The Star Online

Freed: Forest officers released Too (left) and Ong from the department’s office in Gua Musang. Pic form the Star Online.

Freed: Forest officers released Too (left) and Ong from the department’s office in Gua Musang. Pic from the Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: After a brief lull, the controversy surrounding the anti-logging blockades set up by the Temiar orang asli near Gua Musang has flared up again.

The latest direct confrontation between the opposing sides followed a major operation by the Kelantan Forestry Department, which dismantled two barricades in the Balah forest reserve – one in Simpang Petei on Monday and another in Matau Cawas near Pos Bihai yesterday.

At the Matau Cawas blockade, the department’s enforcement officers arrested two freelance journalists, Ong Ju Lim, 46, and Too Chee Hung, 36, as well as 16 orang asli.

The orang asli were later released at the blockade site while Ong and Too were taken to the department’s office in Gua Musang.

According to a statement from Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia, Ong had been engaged by the news agency to produce a documentary on deforestation in Kelantan. Read more

Stop bulldozing Orang Asli rights, respect court verdict

Source: FMT News

C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel slams Kelantan forestry department for ignoring court ruling denying bid to dismantle blockade.

C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel slams Kelantan forestry department for ignoring court ruling denying bid to dismantle blockade.

PETALING JAYA: The Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) has called into question the Kelantan government’s understanding of a recent court verdict that the Orang Asli are rightful owners of their land.

Condemning the state forestry department’s move yesterday morning to break down blockades set up by the native occupants in the interiors of Gua Musang, and arresting 5 Orang Asli leaders, C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel accused state authorities of being confused over what the court ruling meant.

“Wasn’t it just last week that the courts ruled clearly that the Orang Asli are the rightful occupiers of the land their blockades are set up on, and thus have control of the area? Read more

The Kelantan floodgate: Part II — Isham Jalil

Source: NST Online

BY ISHAM JALIL

NST file pix -- A villager evacuating her home in Rantau Panjang early January 2017. In the two recent floods in Kelantan, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and homes were destroyed. Bernama Photo, taken from NST Online.

NST file pix — A villager evacuating her home in Rantau Panjang early January 2017. In the two recent floods in Kelantan, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and homes were destroyed. Bernama Photo, taken from NST Online.

THE Kelantan government is still in denial that logging and land-clearing activities have caused or worsened floods, even after the 2014 flood, which was the worst the country has ever seen in almost half a century.

The state authority reiterated that logging did not cause the floods but rain did, and that the floodwaters did not come from the logging areas, but from the national park. Unfortunately, pivoting the rhetoric isn’t going to solve the problem, nor does it relieve the suffering of Kelantan people affected by the floods each year.

Despite the denial, several experts from various fields, including meteorology, forestry and sustainable development, have highlighted overwhelming evidence linking land clearing and worsening floods in Kelantan — such as alluvial deposits as far as 1,000m from riverbanks seen post-flood, formation of acres of sandbars in Sungai Kelantan due to accelerated erosion upstream, and countless satellite images showing soil erosion from cleared forest.

The United Nations has stated that deforestation may be one of the principal causes of severe flooding. This is evidenced by the floods in Bangladesh in 1998, Haiti in 2004 and Mexico in 2007.

Experts say soil eroded from cleared land flows into adjacent rivers, causing siltation and shallowing of the riverbeds, hence, worsening the flood. Read more

The Kelantan floodgate: Part I — Isham Jalil

Source: NST Online

KOTA BHARU 28 MARCH 2016. ( FILE PIX 08 DECEMBER 2015 / KBE983C ) Kawasan pembalakan haram yang dirakam anggota penguatkuasa Jabatan Perhutanan Kelantan di Hutan Simpan Kekal Chiku, Gua Musang pada akhir tahun lepas. IHSAN JABATAN PERHUTANAN KELANTAN

KOTA BHARU 28 MARCH 2016. ( FILE PIX 08 DECEMBER 2015 / KBE983C ) Kawasan pembalakan haram yang dirakam anggota penguatkuasa Jabatan Perhutanan Kelantan di Hutan Simpan Kekal Chiku, Gua Musang pada akhir tahun lepas. IHSAN JABATAN PERHUTANAN KELANTAN

BY ISHAM JALIL

This is a story about the Kelantan flood; about how a natural disaster could have been mitigated by humans but wasn’t, and even worsened by them.

In 1990, Pas took over the Kelantan government from Barisan Nasional. Three years earlier, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the then prime minister, had marginally defeated Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in a bitter fight for the Umno president’s post. Tengku Razaleigh, still fresh with wounds from the fight, had his revenge in the 1990 general election when he and his newly formed party, Semangat 46, helped Pas defeat BN to win the state. Dr Mahathir had lost Kelantan to Pas and Tengku Razaleigh, and he was upset and angry.

Subsequently, throughout the 1990s under Dr Mahathir’s administration, the federal budget allocation to Kelantan was significantly cut. Between 1991 and 1995, under the 6th Malaysia Plan, less than one per cent of the RM116 billion federal development expenditure was allotted to Kelantan, the lowest allocation compared with all other states. This practice continued until 2003.

Consequently, there were very few development activities in Kelantan during the 1990s. Highways, roads and dams that were supposed to be built were cancelled. Economic growth was inhibited, and job availability was limited. As a result, there was a mass exodus of locals out of Kelantan during this period. Hundreds of thousands of Kelantan folk had to emigrate to find jobs. Currently, it is estimated that one in three of the 1.5 million Kelantan people live and work outside the state. If Dr Mahathir had intended to punish Pas and Tengku Razaleigh, the Kelantan people were collateral damage. Read more

Two environmental activists nabbed for ‘insulting’ Johor Sultan

Source: FMT News

Facebook posting criticising logging activities in Johor cited by police as reason for arrests of Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia president and administrator. Pic from FMT News.

Facebook posting criticising logging activities in Johor cited by police as reason for arrests of Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia president and administrator. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Two pro-environment activists have been arrested by Johor police, believed to be over a Facebook posting highlighting environmental issues in the state.

According to Johor police chief Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd, Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) president Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil, and the organisation’s administrator Norhayati Shahrom had allegedly insulted Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar through the said post.

He did not name the duo, but their identities were revealed in a statement by Peka Selangor exco member Karin Lee last night. Read more

Rakaman udara bukti penggondolan ‘tanah adat’ Orang Asli

Sumber: FMT News

FMT diberitahu lebih 80% aktiviti pembalakan dilakukan berhampiran penempatan Orang Asli dan menjejaskan kehidupan 13,000 rakyat di 17 pos. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

FMT diberitahu lebih 80% aktiviti pembalakan dilakukan berhampiran penempatan Orang Asli dan menjejaskan kehidupan 13,000 rakyat di 17 pos. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

GUA MUSANG: Rakaman udara yang meninjau kesan pembalakan di sekitar kawasan Hutan Simpan Kekal Balah di Gua Musang nampaknya tidak menyebelahi kerajaan Kelantan, yang mendakwa aktiviti dijalankan mengikut tatacara operasi standard.

FMT diberitahu lebih 80% aktiviti pembalakan dilakukan berhampiran penempatan Orang Asli. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) mendakwa skala pembalakan di kawasan terbabit memberi kesan kepada kira-kira 13,000 orang dan melibatkan 17 pos Orang Asli.

Video daripada Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM) menunjukkan banyak bukit-bukau yang gondol, dengan pokok yang ditebang dilonggokkan di satu tempat.

Rakaman juga menunjukkan banyak laluan keluar masuk dibina ke kawasan pembalakan, yang terletak lebih 2 jam perjalanan dari bandar Gua Musang.

Orang Asli yang terkesan mendakwa aktiviti pembalakan sudah mencemari sumber kehidupan mereka.

Menurut seorang Orang Asli, Mohd Nasir Dollah, kawasan yang digondol itu dahulunya tempat Orang Asli bercucuk tanam. “Kawasan yang digondol juga dikatakan digunakan pihak berkepentingan untuk membina ladang rakyat.”

Kerajaan negeri bagaimanapun berkata pembalakan sudah dirundingkan dengan penghulu-penghulu di kawasan yang berkenaan, manakala pimpinan PAS mendakwa Orang Asli terbabit dihasut pihak tertentu.

Dakwaan itu dinafikan oleh Orang Asli dan badan bukan kerajaan. Read more

MACC probes Orang Asli Gua Musang logging complaints

Source: FMT News

Activities have damaged the environment causing a depletion of the forest that the Orang Asli depend on for their livelihood. Pic taken from FMT News.

Activities have damaged the environment causing a depletion of the forest that the Orang Asli depend on for their livelihood. Pic taken from FMT News.

GUA MUSANG: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has received two complaints from Orang Asli residents on irregularities in logging activities in Gua Musang.

Kelantan MACC director, Moh Samsuddin Yusof said investigations on the first complaint lodged on Sept 28 was completed while that of another received recently was still ongoing.

“On the recent complaint, an investigation paper has been opened to probe the matter,” he told reporters after opening an MACC programme with Orang Asli leaders in Kampung Jias C, Kuala Betis here, today.

The programme was officiated by Nenggiri state asemblyman, Mat Yusoff Ab Ghani and attended by MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Prevention) Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil. Read more